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Investing In Vehicle Maintenance Can Pay Dividends When It’s Time To Sell Or Trade


Tips from GM Goodwrench can help reduce the overall cost of vehicle ownership

2006-09-28 - DETROIT - Besides a home, owning a vehicle is one of the biggest investments a consumer will make. That investment extends beyond the sticker in the vehicle’s window: It includes insurance, fuel, regularly scheduled maintenance and depreciation.

The good news is that today’s new cars and trucks are designed and built to run for more than 100,000 miles, remain in service an average of 16 years and serve four to five different owners, according to Tom Kontos, Vice President of Analytical Services for ADESA Inc., a leading provider of wholesale vehicle auctions and related services in North America. So while some costs - such as insurance premiums and gas - are largely outside of consumers’ control, financially savvy owners can actively help improve their bottom line at sale or trade-in by keeping their vehicles properly maintained, according to industry experts.

“A vehicle that has been well-maintained can be worth thousands more at sale or trade-in,” said Joni Gray, consumer advice editor for Kelley Blue Book (KBB), a noted authority on vehicle resale value. “That money can be used toward the purchase of a new vehicle.”

For definitive answers on GM vehicle maintenance, vehicle owners need look no further than their owner’s manual and the nearest GM Goodwrench dealership. The manual details the regular maintenance and preventive procedures recommended for keeping vehicles in optimum condition; GM-trained Goodwrench technicians at nearly 7,000 GM dealerships can perform the services.

Maintenance and the bottom line

According to ADESA Analytical Services, nearly half of consumers - 47 percent - keep new vehicles for between one and four years. That means those who sell or trade need to know the vehicle’s value.

Kelley Blue Book offers a 16-question online quiz: The answers help determine values based on conditions ranging from excellent to fair. (KBB includes a ’poor’ category but does not provide value estimates). Criteria include condition of the engine, transmission, body, tires, brakes, interior, HVAC systems and even the existence of service records.

“If you’ve had your vehicle maintained and serviced at any GM Goodwrench dealership, you will be able provide documentation of the vehicle’s entire service record history, even if you weren’t good at keeping individual paper receipts,” said Stephanie Gehl, GM Service and Parts Operations Portfolio manager, Quick Service Products. “That’s a key benefit of GM’s Goodwrench service that can also help improve resale value.”

Gehl added that October, which the Car Care Council designates Fall Car Care Month, is an excellent time for consumers to have their vehicles inspected before the busy holiday season approaches.

What maintenance steps can drivers take to help improve vehicle resale?

Most drivers know part of regular maintenance includes changing the vehicle’s oil as indicated by the GM Oil Life System or at proper service intervals specified in their manufacturers’ owner manual, but there are other things they can do to help improve their vehicles’ bottom line at sale or trade-in. GM Goodwrench recommends the following:

* Take a few moments to walk around the vehicle and make sure all the bulbs are working: the headlights, the taillights and the brake lights.
* Maintain a clean air filter. A clogged air intake system can lead to poor vehicle performance and reduce fuel economy.
* Look under the vehicle occasionally for leaks that may need addressing.
* Wash the vehicle regularly to remove corrosive substances such as road salt, and so that small dings or loose trim pieces can be identified and repaired early.
* Help prevent pre-mature wearing of tires by ensuring they are rotated on a regular basis, are properly inflated, and correctly aligned.

“Poorly maintained tires can be expensive to replace and may impact resale value,” said Gehl. “But more importantly, well-maintained tires are critical to the safe performance of a vehicle.”

What is a Multi-Point Inspection?

GM Goodwrench offers convenient, efficient, multipoint inspections for vehicles, comprehensive diagnostic testing and complete service capabilities to help customers keep their vehicles operating properly. GM Goodwrench dealerships offer the following inspection services:

* Transmission, drive shaft and u-joints
* Radiator, heater and air-conditioning hoses
* Interior lights, exterior lamps, brake lamps, turn signals and hazard warning lights
* Exhaust system
* Engine air cleaner filter
* Suspension and steering system components

Goodwrench is the service brand for GM vehicles. With dealerships located nationwide, the GM Goodwrench network is one of the largest automotive service chains in the industry. GM Goodwrench technicians receive specialized training from General Motors to provide expert care for GM cars and trucks. Genuine GM replacement parts are manufactured to the exact specifications of the GM vehicle. For more information, visit the GM Goodwrench web site at


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